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14) Does Romo Need Backup QB To Push Him For His Spot?

Posted Jul 7, 2013

IRVING, Texas – As the Cowboys focus on the offseason, training camp is still in sight.

Coming off two straight 8-8 seasons and three full seasons removed from the playoffs, the Cowboys have plenty of question marks surrounding them as they prepare for the 2013 season.

As we count down the days to camp, the writers of DallasCowboys.com will take a different question each day that is hovering over this team.

With 14 days until the Cowboys take the field in Oxnard, Calif., today’s question centers on the quarterback position and the lack of a competition for Tony Romo.

14) Does Romo Need Backup QB To Push Him For His Spot?

Quarterback Controversies are usually fun for the media and possibly the fans. There is a long debate on whether it’s good for the players or the team.

While competition is always healthy in football or any sport, there is a fine line when it comes to the quarterback position. You’ve heard the old adage for years: when you have two quarterbacks, you really have none.

That is the position that needs to be solidified at all times. The offensive players need to know who they can count on to lead them in and out of the huddle and hopefully, down the field for a score.

Since Tony Romo took over as the starting quarterback, which came from a little bit of controversy in the previous weeks that he should replace veteran starter Drew Bledsoe, there hasn’t been any real competition for him.

There has been no threat that he will lose his job at any point in a game or season. And frankly, as the Cowboys dished out a whopping $108 million contract to Romo this offseason, it’s not likely there will be much competition for him anytime soon.

But with Romo failing to lead the Cowboys past an 8-8 record the last two seasons, and having just one playoff win under his belt, you wonder if he actually needs a player behind to push him at least.

Right now, veteran Kyle Orton seems content with his backup status. It was believed he had chances to sign with other teams and start but chose Dallas and this role.

Over the years, there haven’t been many real-life quarterback competitions. The two biggest in franchise history both involved a player wearing No. 14.

Craig Morton donned the jersey for nearly 10 years and battled with Roger Staubach for the starting job before Tom Landry finally went with Staubach and Morton was traded.

In the early 1980’s, Gary Hogeboom wore No. 14 and tried to wrestle the starting job away from Danny White. That controversy actually caused somewhat of a divided locker room between the players. Both players started games in the 1984 season but White eventually prevailed.

In Bill Parcells’ first season with the team in 2003, Romo was actually a rookie free agent trying to make the squad, but the starting job was up for grabs, too. Quincy Carter and Chad Hutchinson had a healthy competition for the job but Carter clearly out-performed Hutchinson and won the job, started all 16 games that year and led the Cowboys to the playoffs.

Fast forwarding to the current state of the team, Romo is clearly the Cowboys’ starting quarterback and that won’t change. But does he need that backup behind to push him? Some could argue Staubach and White became better players after they won the job outright through a healthy quarterback competition. 

Sticking with our numerical journey to training camp, let’s take a closer look at the number 14:

The Cowboys’ franchise record for consecutive passes completed is 14, set by both Steve Pelluer (vs. Seattle, 1986) and Randall Cunningham (vs. Philadelphia, 2000).

  • Frank Clarke’s 14 touchdown receptions in 1962 is the second-most in club history, behind Terrell Owens’ 15.
  • From 1988-89, the Cowboys lost 14 straight home games at Texas Stadium. The streak ended in the 1990 season opener with a 17-14 win over San Diego.
  • The Cowboys scored 14 points each in both the hottest and coldest home regular season games in franchise history. A 41-14 loss to the Eagles in 2000 occurred in 109 degree temperatures. The Cowboys also lost the wild Thanksgiving Day game to the Dolphins in 1993, 16-14. The memorable snow/ice game was played at 32 degree temperatures at kickoff.
  • Seven players have worn No. 14 for the Cowboys, starting with quarterback Eddie LaBaron from 1960-63. Craig Morton wore it the longest from 1965-74. Gary Hogeboom (1980-85) and Brad Johnson (2007-08) also wore No. 14.
  • Miles Austin, who began his career with the No. 14 before he changed it to No. 19 in 2007, has 14 career 100-yard receiving games, good for sixth in club history.
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